Arizona Town Protests Living in Prison Zone of Border Checkpoints

Border checkpoints make everyday life into a totalitarian nightmare for residents of Arivaca, Arizona.

On Wednesday, the picture below was posted on the Facebook wall for End Border Patrol Checkpoints along with the caption, “Happening right now: Border residents shutting down #BorderPatrol checkpoint on Arivaca Rd.!”

not your war zone

It is important to keep in mind that these border patrol checkpoints are not guarding the border. They are within a hundred miles of the border and simply stop people on the road, interrogate them, and search them.

Here is another picture:

school bus border

Our children live in a world where they pass through a military-style checkpoint every morning and afternoon for school. Every time their parents take them to Tucson shopping. Every time they go to a friend’s house in Amado, or to Karate in Sahuarita. Men carry guns, dogs bark, lights flash.

I understand that people want secure borders and think illegal aliens should be caught. But we have ways of doing both these things without turning all areas on the border into totalitarian police state nightmares. The reason why we have so many illegal immigrants is largely because our government refuses to enforce existing laws. Harassing and searching people driving on the roads is not necessary. J. D. Tucille wrote at Reason.com Thursday,

Yesterday, residents of Arivaca, Arizona, a town I’ve written about before, stepped beyond complaining about the Border Patrol checkpoints that turn every trip past the city limits into an airport security experience. Instead of just picketing, they staged sit-ins at the checkpoints and, temporarily, disrupted them.

Border Patrol agents were reportedly un-thrilled by the experience, but their discomfort doesn’t compare to the everyday hassles they inflict on people.

[See also, “Woman Tasered for Opposing Illegal Search.”]

Part of the reason for the protest was to get the politicians to keep their promises. According to another Facebook entry,

Yesterday’s community hearing at the Arivaca Road checkpoint was a huge success! Many courageous community members came out and shared their experiences. Around 100 people and an incredible puppet rallied at the checkpoint to demand its removal! See a selection of the press coverage below!

TODAY, please call in to US Congressman Grijalva’s office to demand that he deliver on his promise to hold a federal hearing about the closure of the checkpoint. Last year, the Congressman came to Arivaca and promised us that he would hold an Ad-Hoc Congressional hearing before Department of Homeland Security officials. However, Rep. Grijalva never set a date for the hearing. Call in today to demand that he keep his word to our community! We need all the help we can get!

Again, it is one thing to want secure borders and to want the law enforced on immigration (what is the point of having a law if you disregard enforcing it). But ignoring the law while imposing zones of random stops and searches is the worst of both worlds. We should want both the acts of the legislature and the Constitution with the Bill of Rights respected.